Anxiety as Lamu Sh23 billion wind power suit judgement postponed indefinitely
By Nehemiah Okwembah
| May 3rd 2018
Parties in a long-standing land lease case in Mpeketoni were yesterday shocked to find out that the ruling that was set to be delivered at the Environment and Lands court in Malindi had been postponed to an unknown date.
Cordisons International limited and Kenwind limited have been fighting over the same piece of land at Baharini area in Mpeketoni of Lamu County that both want to invest in renewable wind power energy. Cordisons says its rival has encroached on land that belongs to it in Lamu.
Parties who gathered at the Malindi law courts were surprised to learn that the ruling of "JR 11/17-1 " which was expected yesterday "would be later own on notice," in a brief statement published by the registry.
The American consortium Cordisons International sued the National Land Commission (NLC) and the lands ministry over denial of land rights. It wants to invest Sh23 billion in wind power production and accused the National Land Commission of favouring its rival by refusing to approve its land lease instruments despite receiving all approvals from all relevant authorities.
The two firms have been fighting for land rights at Baharini area in Lamu County to explore wind power generation and today the advocates of the parties were left in shock and could be seen walking along the court corridors. None of them wanted to be interviewed by journalists.
Cordisons moved to court to quash the allocation of a piece of land to Kenwind Limited, a land it claims was given to them by the ministry of land several years ago so that it could explore wind power generation.
Cordisons International alleges that NLC and the lands ministry have favoured Kenwind at its expense. Cordisons has accused the commission and its chairman of favouring Kenwind by allocating it part of its land to implement a project similar to its own.
It seeks court orders to reverse what it considers to be an unjust encroachment on its property by a rival firm through the connivance of NLC.
Cordisons sued in January this year alleging denial of land lease instruments by NLC despite receiving all statutory approvals from government agencies including the Lamu county government since 2009.
The American consortium obtained interim orders stopping Kenwinds and other organs from proceeding with any transactions on the disputed land.
The matter has been pending before the Malindi Environment and Land Court amidst a myriad adjournments and an application by Kenwind challenging the court's jurisdiction which was dismissed in July last year.
Justice JO Olola had set the judgment date at 2nd May this year but when the parties arrived they were met with t5he notice pined on 26th April stating that matters for that date will not take place.
Olola had said that he will rely on written submissions filed in court to deliver a judgement arguing that the case had taken too long.
“I want to be through with this matter in two weeks’ time because it has taken so long,” said justice Olola during the last court session.
Cordisons is represented by lawyer Francis Wasuna while Kenwind is represented by lawyer Kiarie Kariuki. Senior advocate Maurice Kilonzo represents the community.
Last year in December Justice Olola was forced to adjourn the case three times in a single day as parties failed to file their affidavits.
Cordison International seeks to invest Sh. 23 billion for its 100 megawatts of its phase one project in Kiongwe area of Lamu and claims its investment has been delayed for 27 months by NLC's failure to approve land lease instruments.
Meanwhile Cordisons accuses NLC of refusing to execute the lease instruments as advised by the Lamu County government in accordance with the law and entering an approval for the rival firm instead.
Cordison International accuses the director of physical planning of advertising and publishing a gazette of a Part Development Plan (PDP) for Kenwind which overlapped Cordisons' PDP which had also been approved by the county government and placed in a gazette.
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